Fees and Deposit Limits6.9/10
Ease of Use9.6/10
Account Types and Services9.2/10
- Hedge fund-style investment strategy
- In-depth investment research
- $100 minimum deposit
- User-friendly mobile app
- Quarterly account rebalancing
- 1% fee is higher than most robo advisors
- No web/desktop version
Titan Invest is an algorithmic investment advisor (a robo advisor) that offers everyday consumers the ability to invest like world-class hedge funds. Its algorithm analyzes thousands of hedge fund filings every quarter to determine its core portfolio of 20 high-conviction long-term investments.
While Titan Invest (sometimes called Titanvest) is not itself a hedge fund, it offers clients a personalized hedge designed to protect capital in periods of protracted market downturns. In doing so, they aim to replicate the investment strategies of high-quality, long-term focused hedge funds and outperform the overall market return in the long run.
As of Q3 2020, Titan has over $150 million in AUM (assets under management.)
But the differences don’t just end there. Titan Invest has an in-house investment research team working behind the scenes for you. At every step of the way, their team of seasoned investment professionals provides in-depth videos, deep-dive reports, digestible market updates, podcasts, and more. Their goal is to keep you more informed about your investments than any other advisor in the world.
Titan Invest was launched in early 2018 by Clayton Gardner, Joe Percoco, and Max Bernardy. This robo advisor has a low minimum deposit, though the annual fee is higher than the average robo advisor. But before we get into the nitty-gritty in this Titan Invest review, let’s talk about hedge funds in general.
|Minimum Investment Amount||$100|
|Total AUM (Assets Under Management)||$150+ million|
|Headquarters||110 Greene Street, Suite 910|
New York, NY 10012
|Discounts||0.25% discount for each personal referral|
|Customer Support||Live support via email, phone, chat, and social media|
What is a Hedge Fund?
Simply put, hedge funds are an alternative investment aiming to grow your capital while protecting (“hedging”) from significant market declines. Hedge funds are investments designed to minimize risk and maximize profits, with particular attention to the part about maximizing profits. Although historically hedge funds have been shown to increase profits over the long term, keep in mind there are also some downsides to this style of investing as well.
Unfortunately, genuine hedge funds are only available to accredited investors, or those who have a net worth exceeding $1 million or assets exceeding $5 million.
But the hedging style of investing is available to anyone with the know-how. That’s where Titan Invest comes in.
Titan Invest and Hedge Funds: What’s the Difference?
Here’s where the service of Titan Invest gets interesting. Similar to conventional robo advisors, Titan creates and manages your investment portfolio. But instead of building a portfolio based on traditional ETFs, Titan will invest your portfolio in a selected group of individual stocks. The stocks are derived from what Titan believes are twenty of the highest quality and top-performing companies. This includes investments in Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Apple, and TransDigm, to name a few.
Each portfolio comes with an automated Personalized Hedge. The level of ‘hedging’ will vary depending on your preferred risk tolerance (Aggressive, Moderate, or Conservative) after opening an account. Even though the hedge is not a guarantee of not incurring any losses, it may help in mitigating potential losses when market volatility strikes.
The Personalized Hedge feature is fully-automated and will adjust according to a quantitative comparison of Titan’s performance vs. the S&P 500’s. If your investment portfolio is declining significantly for a while, the service will move more of your capital into the hedge, and vice-versa. It’s important to point out that selecting a conservative approach will increase the amount of your money invested in the hedge relative to the twenty stocks.
Titan Invest’s Fees & Costs
Titan charges an annual advisory fee of 1%. While this does seem like a high fee compared to other robo advisors, it’s also important to note that Titan does not charge performance fees. Conventional hedge funds charge anywhere from 15% to 20% in performance fees, on top of the management fee, which is commonly 2%.
They also have a referral program that allows you to drop the advisory fee by 0.25% for every referral you make.
You can open an account and start investing with Titan Invest right away, as they have a low $100 minimum investment. This means you can sign up and start using the platform to give it a try before throwing all your money into it.
The real value of super-low minimum deposits is only in the ability to try out the platform before investing a more substantial amount later on.
We reached out to Titan to know more about their fee structure and this is what they have to say:
“When it comes to fees, we believe “you get what you pay for,” and our clients would agree. For 1% annual fee, clients have the opportunity to outperform the market over the long run by investing in only the highest quality growth co’s (as we believe our strategy identifies) and they stay more informed on their investments than anyone else with original research created by our dedicated investment team.”
Considering that Titan Invest provides an in-depth investment research team working for you, plus a personalized hedge aiming to minimize losses in downturns, the higher-than-average annual fee could be worth it.
While 1% is much higher than your average robo advisor, Titan will reduce fees by 0.25% for you and each person you refer to them, when that person joins Titan. So if you refer four of your friends or colleagues to the service, your Titan Invest portfolio will be managed for zero advisory fees, forever, on its core 13F product.
This could add up to big savings over time, especially for larger account balances.
Costs vs. Other Robo Advisors
Many robo advisors offer more services or lower fees for more significant account balances. Wealthsimple, for example, drops their annual fee from 0.50% to 0.40% and adds features like VIP airline lounge access and a personalized financial planning session for accounts over $100,000.
We would like to see Titan offer some kind of extra incentive for investing a more considerable amount into their services, whether it be a reduced fee or additional features, or both.
However, not charging performance fees is a nice change, and after all, if they’re able to drive high performance and returns, the 1.0% fee could very well be worth it. The ability to reduce your costs to 0% by referrals is also a very nice touch that usually isn’t offered by competitors.
Account Types and Services
Each portfolio in Titan Invest is distributed evenly among 20 stocks. If you invest $500, each stock will get a $25 investment. So if the price of one stock is $100, you would get 0.25 of a share of that company’s stock. This makes you a direct owner of the stocks in your portfolio, which is beneficial in many ways.
Retirement (Traditional & Roth IRA, 401(k))
In September 2019, Titan announced they are offering Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) as part of their Retirement offering.
As part of this service, Titan will allow you to set up or roll over a Traditional or Roth IRA with the same benefits as Titan’s Individual Investment portfolios. That is, the same automated management, same annual fee, same style of investing like hedge funds, and the same referral program to lower your fees, but with all of the added potential tax advantages of an IRA. You can also roll over your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement accounts, and they have a concierge system in place to help you roll those into your Titan account.
We think this is a great move and could open up robo advisors to investors who are focusing only on contributing to retirement accounts.
Titan Invest Performance and Historical Returns
Titan Invest was only launched in 2018, so it’s tough to discern historical performance and returns over such a short period of time.
However, Titan outperformed the S&P 500 in 2019 with net returns of 33.7%, while the S&P ended 2019 at 31.5%. As of August 2020, their YTD returns are 17.4%, with the S&P 500’s are sitting at 2.4%. That’s pretty impressive.
Note these illustrative returns are for a hypothetical Titan client with an aggressive risk profile; clients with moderate or conservative risk profiles may have earned lower returns. See full performance disclaimers at the end of this review and on Titan’s website.
Safety & Security
Is Titan secure? As with most robo advisors, Titan Invest uses bank-level 256-bit encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to process your data, so it’s safe. Your accounts are also SIPC-insured for up to $500,000.
Flexibility & Diversification
With the advent of hybrid robo advisors and personalized investment services, determining the flexibility of a robo advisor is getting tougher still.
With Titan, your portfolio is invested strictly in twenty top-performing stocks. But it’s still flexible since your portfolio is spread evenly across the twenty companies through fractional shares.
This means you are a direct owner of the stocks in your portfolio. This is in contrast to some other robo advisors that invest exclusively in mutual funds or ETFs. So while you may be looking for broad diversification with some more general investment robo advisors, investing with a company like Titan is not meant for that – it’s made for a specific purpose, and that’s what they provide.
Their objective is to compound your capital at the highest rate possible over the long term, so Titan uses 20 high-quality stocks and a personalized hedge, vs. a handful of ultra-diversified ETFs or mutual funds.
Ease of Use
Titan is only fully available via a mobile app. You can download the app in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Titan has a beta version available on desktop but is still working on the full web app. The mobile app is easy to use and has an excellent interface. It starts by supplying the necessary information like your name, social security number, email address, home address, and date of birth.
You then link your investment account to your bank account to make an initial deposit, or you can use wire transfers to fund your account. You can also use the mobile app to make automatic deposits in weekly, biweekly, or monthly increments to make sure you’re growing your portfolio effectively.
We hope you now have some insight into how choosing a hedge fund-like investment service can be a smarter move in a relatively volatile market. But this level of service doesn’t come cheap when compared to other robo advisors. A better comparison may be Titan versus alternative managed investments (e.g., hedge funds) – and on that basis, they’re a great value.
Since Titan is still a newbie in the world of robo advisors, it’s hard to say how far this technique can sustain your investment portfolio in the long run. However, early results seem promising, and their in-depth investment research service alongside your managed portfolio is a differentiated offering we haven’t seen from any other robo advisor.
Aside from the high annual fee, our caveat with Titan Invest is the lack of a full web version for the service. Titan makes up for it with in-depth investment research, live support via email, phone, chat, and social media.
Overall, we like the idea of a hedge fund-like robo advisor since it aims to compound your capital at an above-average rate of return over the long term while protecting you from significant losses in a down market. Plus, Titan gives smaller investors access to a type of investment research and portfolio management service that is usually only for those with a high net worth. And since Hedgeable closed its doors to new customers in mid-2018, we’ve been looking for a robo advisor to fill its shoes by offering hedging services.
Disclaimer: BestRoboAdvisors.org has entered into a referral and advertising arrangement with Titan Invest and receives compensation when you open an account or for certain qualifying activity which may include clicking links. You will not be charged a fee for this referral and Titan Invest and BestRoboAdvisors.org are not related entities. It is a requirement to disclose that we earn these fees and also provide you with the latest Titan Invest ADV brochure (PDF) so you can learn more about them before opening an account. By signing up for Titan from this page, you acknowledge your receipt of the Wrap Fee Brochure (PDF)and Solicitor Partner Compensation Disclosure (PDF). In addition, you understand the new account opening requirements. Solicitors may receive compensation for funded account openings on the Titan app that occur through this referral landing page.